Mice lured by Lion City's attractions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2009, 12:00am

Singapore is pulling out the stops to lure more Mice business to the island republic. It is willing to sponsor companies to host events and has launched various incentives to show support for Mice.

'The enhanced 'Be in Singapore' scheme has no qualifying cost and even offers double-up grant support. It targets corporate meetings and incentive travel groups, international board meetings, association-based meetings, trade conferences and trade exhibitions,' Singapore Tourism Board (STB) area director, Hong Kong and Macau, Vincent Huang Limin said.

For example, for a minimum of 400 visitor nights and above, the STB's incentives include an exclusive jungle breakfast at the Singapore Zoo and discounts for the destination management company.

While acknowledging that business had slowed down, Mr Huang said there were still many opportunities. 'Despite the tough times, we'll still have single-digit growth thanks to the many ways Singapore is defending its market share by providing our customers with something different.'

The city prides itself on having built up its Mice rapport by creating unique Mice experiences. And in a few more years, it will have even more exotic attractions. The S$6.6billion (HK$34billion) Resorts World on Sentosa Island is due to open next year and will house two theme parks - Universal Studios Singapore & Marine Life Park; seven themed zones such as Hollywood Boulevard, New York, The Lost World, Egypt; 24 Attractions (18 are specially designed for Singapore) as well as the world's tallest duelling roller coaster.

Six new hotels with a total of 1,800 rooms will be built to ease pressure on accommodation and to suit different budgets. They will include a Singapore branch of the renowned Hard Rock Hotel group.

These upcoming Mice facilities, with indoor and outdoor venues, could host up to 35,000 people. They include a giant theatre-ballroom able to hold 7,300 people, while Universal Studios' outdoor venues will accommodate 16,500 people attending a mix of private parties, cocktails, product presentations and carnivals.

Stealing the limelight when it opens at the end of this year will be the Marina Bay Sands, a premier integrated entertainment destination built around a 2,600-room luxury hotel. Other features are a 120,000 square metre Expo and Convention Centre featuring the largest ballroom in Asia, 2,000 exhibition booths, and 250 meeting rooms to host more than 45,000 delegates.

The Lion City is also aggressively launching more attractions such as the Singapore Flyer - a giant Ferris wheel - providing what it claims to be 'a unique venue in the sky'. With 28 capsules, it whisks passengers above the exciting sights of Singapore's waterfront from a height of 165 metres.

As a popular Mice destination, Singapore has become a hot spot for big-time corporate gatherings. According to Mr Huang, French fashion house Dior hosted two incentive trips for sales teams of 65 people each last year, while video conferencing company Tandberg Group flew in 150 people for its annual sales meeting.

Outlining the aid given to Dior, Mr Huang said: 'We assisted Dior in bringing in some product samples via customs. To ensure a memorable experience, the STB also sponsored and facilitated itinerary planning and site inspection, with a belly dancing performance at a Night Safari themed dinner. We also arranged Great Singapore Sale tourist privilege cards and souvenirs for all participants.'

For Tandberg, special attractions included a lion dance and 'big head doll' for its opening ceremony, roaming photography at its gala dinner plus STB travel bags as souvenirs.

'Mice is not just playing, it's a serious way to motivate staff and reward achievement,' said Mr Huang.